SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla executives on Monday claimed a driver was behind the wheel at the time of a fatal crash that killed two in suburban Houston this month, contradicting local authorities who have previously said they were certain no one was in that seat.

Tesla made the statement on its earnings call Monday, building on a previous tweet from chief executive Elon Musk that data “so far” showed that the vehicle’s Autopilot driver-assistance system was not enabled at the time of the crash. Lars Moravy, the company’s vice president of vehicle engineering, said the steering wheel was “deformed,” indicating a driver’s presence at the time of the crash. He added that all of the car’s seat belts were unbuckled.

Tesla did not elaborate on its investigative process following the crash that killed two after a Model S veered off the road, struck a tree and burst into flames on April 17. Photos of the crash showed a charred heap of wreckage, with the car badly mangled and only recognizable from its tires. Tesla said it was so far unable to recover SD card data from the time of the crash.

Mark Herman, constable for Harris County Precinct 4, told the station KHOU that police were “100 percent certain that no one was in the driver’s seat.”

The company has had a rocky relationship with investigators, and its summary of the crash was likely to further test that dynamic after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said last week that Tesla was not a party to its investigation. Automakers typically work with the NTSB as parties to probes so they can coordinate the joint release of investigative information.

Tesla’s findings have not been independently confirmed by investigators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the NTSB and the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla was booted as a party to a past probe, into a fatal 2018 crash in California, after releasing investigative information without the permission of authorities.